Fighting climate change one tree at a time

On February 11th, Seattle Youth CAN teamed up with Forterra, Green Seattle Partnership and Friends of the Burke Gilman to plant trees, pick up trash, and remove invasive species from a section of the Burke Gilman Trail. Of the 85 trees planted, 34 trees were purchased by Woodland Park Zoo as part of Forterra’s Evergreen Carbon Capture program. The 85 trees planted will sequester 425 tons of carbon over their lifetime.

Forterra’s Evergreen Carbon Capture program helps companies, organizations and individuals address the threats of global climate change by planting trees in the Puget Sound region. It began as a partnership with Pearl Jam, who wanted to take responsibility for their carbon emissions produced from their world tour by planting trees in their local community! Since then, the program has grown to include dozens of companies and individuals.

We asked participant Daniela Shuman to share her thoughts on the event:

The Burke-Gilman trail through North Seattle required our help. The area was full of trash, covered in the invasive black berry bushes, and missing trees. It’s a good thing Seattle Youth CAN were up for the job!

When we arrived, we went straight to the job, planting western red cedar, Douglas fir and grand fir. To ensure their best chance at surviving, we were taught how to effectively plant a tree. One important part was adding mulch around the newly planted tree to keep the moisture inside. After the hillside was covered in tiny trees, we were to go through and find any extra trash. It was sad to find so much, but we cleaned up the park well and ended up with bags of small pieces of plastic. Finishing up, we got rid of the invasive blackberry bushes. It was hard, but we eventually cleaned out a large area and freed a few trees that were wrapped in blackberry vines. Our motto was Free the Tree 2017! We were tired from the morning of work, but it was loads of fun to do with friends!

The importance to all this work was to restore part of the Seattle Area ecosystem. The hillside needed tree roots to avoid collapse and the stream needed shade to keep it cool for the living organisms inside. This event has made a lasting impact on our community ecosystem and I am proud to say I was part of it!

 

By Daniela Shuman